2/13/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E07
Air Date: October 20, 1966
Written by: Robert Bloch
Directed by: James Goldstone

Premise
Former fiancĂ© to Nurse Chapel and professional mad scientist, Dr. Roger Korby, wants to make an entire race of sexy androids, but not if Kirk has anything to do with it.

Review
In this episode we find out that Nurse Chapel only joined the Enterprise so that she could one day look for her long-lost fiancĂ©, Dr. Korby. Apparently Enterprise's five year mission is actually to reignite old flames. But just like Bones in "The Man Trap," she'll find that her former lover is not exactly what she remembers.

To be fair to the Enterprise, Dr. Korby is considered the "Pasteur of archeological medicine", whatever that means, and to let him stay lost forever would be a waste of a great mind. What's odd is that when they arrive at Exo III, Korby asks that Kirk beam down alone. Well, Kirk is ok with this, but he believes Korby can make an exception for Nurse Chapel. And as soon as Korby realizes that Chapel is there, he is more than excited and willing to see her face again.
And, really, who wouldn't be?
When Kirk and Chapel get down to the planet, Kirk decides that the redshirt population is getting out of control, so he calls for a couple of security guards. Before they have a chance to even find Korby, one of them falls down a deep cave and dies because Lurch here figured the redshirt was a threat.
I don't call him that lightly. He really is Lurch. Look it up.
When they find Korby, Korby explains that Lurch is an android created by "The Old Ones" and that The Old Ones' technology is how Korby survived the lethal frostbite he had gotten on the planet's inhospitable surface. He also introduces who is possibly the hottest robot on the face of the universe: Andrea. He uses Andrea to illustrate how awesome androids are. How they can kiss you and slap you if only you program them correctly. He goes on to explain that his plan is to replace key people in Starfleet with androids and start taking over the galaxy with an entire android race.

When Kirk expresses concern that perhaps Dr. Korby is losing his mind, Korby attempts to prove he's completely sane by kidnapping Kirk and making an android version of him. The copy is able to fool Nurse Chapel, but due to Kirk's ingenious plan to implant false memories during the duplication process, Spock is able to see that the android version is not the real one when he comes up to the ship for information.
That is, without a doubt, not the same rear end.
Back on the planet, Android Kirk conspires with Korby to execute Korby's plan while real Kirk is being guarded by Lurch. And Andrea is attempting to learn the ways of humanity from Nurse Chapel. So then Kirk does what Kirk does best and attempts to seduce Andrea. But Andrea wasn't programmed for it, apparently, so she kinda breaks down a bit and goes running back to Korby.

Kirk then turns Lurch against Korby and Korby is forced to shoot him. In a scuffle with Kirk afterwards, it's revealed that Korby is, himself, an Android. Which totally explains to Nurse Chapel why he had been so distant and uncaring.  In a huff, Korby commands Andrea to shoot Kirk, she shoots the android Kirk by mistake, Kirk waxes eloquent about how Korby's "perfect" race has started killing each other, Andrea hugs Korby and then Korby kills them both. When Spock comes down to the planet with a security team, all he finds left are Kirk and Nurse Chapel.

There is an upside to this tragedy, however. With Korby gone, Chapel decides that she wishes to finish her tour on the Enterprise. Other than that, the ending of this episode is a real downer. If they hadn't disintegrated, dead android bodies would be everywhere.

Overall Thoughts
This is one of those high-thinking morality exercises where it's not really a problem we'll have to face in our lifetime, but it'll probably one day be worth considering. What is the difference between android life and human life? And at what point does there become a difference? And if the philosophy doesn't get you, the hot android chick will.